Baggage from Duluth
I posted recently on an American company which makes rather nice cycle-specific luggage in addition to a range of backpacks. Frost River is based in Duluth, Minnesota, right up by the Northern border. Rather like Carradice in this country, Frost River are a traditional outfit making all their goods by hand in their own factory. No Chinese sweatshop guilt involved here.
The bags are all made in the same way, this being waxed cotton with hand stitching and leather straps for fixing. The results are rather lovely, in a simple, functional way. All things ‘Heritage’ are at the height of fashion currently, and whilst to some this may be a passing thing, I like to think of it as an increasing appreciation of ‘proper’ goods made in a traditional, sustainable way rather than rubbish that fuels the constant acquisitiveness and which ends up in landfills after a year.
Frost River items have a very American look and feel; whereas the likes of Brooks and Carradice are unmistakably English, these bags look like they have been made to be used on a moose hunting expedition. I rather like it- look at these panniers.
Do you like the rustic looking stick that holds the lid of the bag in place? Maybe they do one with optional animal bones as fasteners! The other nice thing is to see the vintage machines they use to manufacture the stuff – this is hand made luggage of the most real kind.
Currently, there is no UK distributor for Frost River, but you can do as I did and buy from their website, with shipping to other parts of the world available.